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Monday, 3 October 2011

Povety minimum wage

On tonights BBC panarama it was shown that many companies avoid and use ways of getting around paying the national minimum wage to workers. The lowest paid workers in society and already feeling the strain who are constantly under attack from their boss's have very little room to breath with living standards falling and the cost of living rising sharply.

Many companies will try and get round having to pay minimum wage which for adults which now sits at £6.08 p which is scandelous in itself in my view. They will try to do this by putting misleading clauses in the small print of workers contracts that's if they get a contract which again by law they must have. They may claim that the worker is self employed for example many trainee hairdressers in this country now are classed as "self employed" getting their employers out of paying any holiday pay and can pay under the minimum wage. This is also the case notably in the care sector which it is estimated up to 200,00 care workers could be being paid less than the national legal minimum wage.

Another area which companies use to exploit workers are graduates who straight out of university with a degree desperatly wishing to find work to start paying some of their huge debt they have mounted up via tuitian fees are finding they are having to take internships and jobs below the minimum wage.


This is a disgrace again and is total exploitation of young people and workers. Due to the shortage of jobs at the moment with nearly 1 million young people unemployed its no wonder young people will take anything they can get to get money and avoid being labeled unemployed as it would seem the media have turned it into something of a stigma .

I will blog about this in another blog but unpaid internships should be abolished in my view. They are deeply unfair to those who cannot afford to work for nothing to gain experience and often you end up doing the same job as if you were employed properly only difference being you get paid nothing at all maybe only expenses for travel if your lucky.

This is quite common amongst our very own MP;s the shining light of democracy and upholding of morals and the law note the sarcasm there unpaid internships with MP's and their offices is rife right across the political spectrum in Westminster from tories to Labour and Liberals.

So when a MP starts banging on about internships and how unfair they are do remember to think they are probably employing unpaid interns for work that should be paid for legally.


A Labour Research Department publication has stated that the TUC welcomed the government's confirmation that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for workers aged 21 and over will go up by 2.5%. This really is the TUC clutching at straws because this percentage increase amounts to a 15p increase in the hourly rate from October taking the NMW to £6.08.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said that the increases showed that the government "understands the NMW must remain an important part of working life". He apparently went on to point out that there was evidence that workers on the NMW spent all their pay rises where they work and live.

Someone should point out to Brendan Barber that on the current level of the national minimum wage and the pay rise workers could not afford to travel far to spend it. The closest Brendan Barber comes to criticising what amounts to a drop in the living standards for those on the national minimum wage, given price rises, is when he called the proposed rises "modest".

Barber of course does not criticise the current level of the national minimum wage because it was his New Labour friends in government that maintained it at a poverty level. I don't recall generous increases when they were in power during a so-called boom.

If this so-called increase for 21 year-olds and over is not a disgrace enough, the rate for young workers, - 18 to 20 year olds and 16 to 17 year olds will only rise by 1.2% and 1.1% respectively. For many all capitalism can offer is legalised poverty, where young workers are valued less and exploited more than older workers.

If Barber and most of the other trade union leaders won't lead the fightback against the Con-Dems or any other government that seeks to place the burden of the crisis of capitalism on our shoulders, then they should stand aside for those who will.

The Socialist Party fights for a minimum wage of £8 per hour for all.
We feel a fair days work should be equalled with a fair days pay no if's and no buts. Employees should think more of their workers rights than their profits. Onlya change in society will bring this fully into line i believe.

The money is certainly available in society, but it's by only working people getting organised and fighting for a socialist society, that we will be able to meet our needs and redistribute the wealth of society in a planned and democratic way.

NOT ONLY do Britain's employers and government want us to work for longer years for smaller pensions. They also want us to work more hours a week - and they'd rather we toiled unpaid too!

Employees in Britain work the longest hours in western Europe but a TUC survey shows that millions of workers do £23 billion worth of unpaid overtime a year. They regularly put in extra hours - averaging about two months a year - without getting paid a penny for it.

The worker pressed into unpaid overtime would receive an extra £4,650 if he or she got paid at the proper rate. The total shortfall adds up to £23 billion.

Teachers and lecturers get the worst deal, doing on average 11 hours and 36 minutes unpaid overtime a week - and that could be a huge under-estimate. Lecturers' union NATFHE calculates that their members are underpaid by £215 a week for their overtime.

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